Monday, March 27, 2006

Preview Shelf -- Babar Is 75 Years Old

"Nobody ever changes in Babar books," murmurs Laurent de Brunhoff, who has written and illustrated 34 of them since 1946. When he was 21, 16 years after his father who created the popular character had died, he resuscitated Babar in Paris, and when he moved to New York in 1985, his character came with him. A lot of me is in Babar, he says. At 80, the yoga practitioner emanates a sweet serenity. The latest adventure is Babar's World Tour, and it appeared in February as the writer was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at Barnes & Noble, New York (announced in the February 9, 2006 New York Times). The Crawfordsville District Public Library has a number of Babar books and videos.

You've been asking if borrowers' cards from the old Carnegie Library are good in the new building, and the answer is Yes. New coffee table books are ready to enjoy. The largest is a tour of China through the eyes of traveler Yann Layma, who is familiar with its terrain and immersed in its culture. He captures the essence of this civilization with 400 pages of 1980s photos and essays. Next largest is The Reader's Digest Keyboard Course showing how to play 100 songs the easy way. Notes, scale tones, and chords are marked, and words are included. Next in size is A Day in the Life of the American Woman with illustrations by 50 successful lady photographers who shared humor and creativity when they all recorded their work on April 8, 2005.

New helps are Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Woodworking by Lonnie Bird et al, and Renovation by Michael Litchfield, with completely revised and updated instructions connected with erecting a building. Karin Hessenberg's Sculpting Basics includes everything needed for three-dimensional art, like molding, casting, modeling, firing, and carving. The Michaels Book of Paper Crafts edited by Dawn Cusick and Megan Kirby is also colorful with creative ideas. Their The Michaels Book of Needlecrafts has the latest styles of knitting, crocheting, and embroidery for all age recipients. The Shopping Bags by Anna Wallner and Kristina Matisic is a book of tips, tricks, and inside information for a savvy shopper, including fashion, food, and entertainment. Presentations is the title of Carolyne Roehm's ideas for snazzy gift wrapping. Mehndi the timeless art of henna painting on skin comes from Loretta Roome who has popularized the art and has painted celebrities, schoolchildren, grandmothers, and businessmen. Michael D'Antonio's biography Hershey with his chocolate bar on the cover tells about Milton S. Hershey's extraordinary life of wealth, empire, and utopian dreams. Hearts West by Chris Enss contains true stories, some happy and some lonely, of mail-order brides on the American frontier where men outnumbered women twelve to one. How the Bible was Built by Charles Smith and James Bennett provides a factual overview of its construction throughout history, showing how the individual books were written and collected, later canonized and translated. Simply in Season is a spiral folder containing recipes that celebrate fresh foods in the spirit of More-with-Less compiled by Mary Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert in chapters titled Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and All Seasons. Extreme Simplicity is about homesteading in the city, bringing good humor, adaptability, and self-reliance to the challenges of living in crowded conditions. In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John Marzluff and Tony Angell examines the ways that crows and humans interact in cultural coevolution with 100 original drawings. Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind is Colleen Pelar's parental guide to controlling the chaos.

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